Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

37 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (three slots are open)

Last updated 11-17-2023
* bats or throws left
# bats both

Adbert Alzolay 
Michael Arias
Javier Assad
Ben Brown
Jose Cuas
Kyle Hendricks
Porter Hodge
* Bailey Horn
Caleb Kilian
Mark Leiter Jr
* Luke Little
Julian Merryweather
Daniel Palencia
Michael Rucker
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele
Jameson Taillon
Keegan Thompson
Hayden Wesneski 
* Jordan Wicks

Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

Nico Hoerner
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Matt Mervis
Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Luis Vazquez
Patrick Wisdom

Kevin Alcantara
Alexander Canario
* Pete Crow-Armstrong
Brennen Davis
# Ian Happ
Seiya Suzuki
* Mike Tauchman


Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

Cubs @ Brewers: Series Thread (Games 83-86)

The Cubs dropped the rubber match to the Guardians in the 10th to lose the series 1-2. They enter a three-game four-game road series against the Brewers 38-44, six games back in the division and only 3.5 in front of the last place Cardinals. The Brewers begin 45-39 and ties for the NL Central lead with the Reds. See below for your holiday series matchups.

Game 83, Monday, July 3, 1:10 pm central
CHC: LHP Drew Smyly (7-5, 3.96 ERA)
MIL: RHP Julio Teheran (2-3, 2.85 ERA)

Game 84, Tuesday, July 4, 3:10 pm central
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (3-3, 2.81 ERA)
MIL: LHP Wade Miley (5-2, 3.02 ERA)

Game 85, Wednesday, July 5, 7:10 pm central
CHC: LHP Justin Steele (9-2, 2.43 ERA)
MIL: RHP Adrian Houser (3-2, 3.88 ERA)

Game 86, Thursday, July 6, 1;10 pm central
CHC: RHP Marcus Stroman (9-6, 2.86 ERA)
MIL: Freddy Peralta (5-7, 4.67 ERA)

[Edited July 4 to include the fourth game in the series.]


I think Nico is worthy of an ASG reserve nod. How are those determined now? Are the rosters final? If so he got snubbed.

this seems to be my "tipping point" loss.  it sucked to watch go down, but ultimately it wasn't a rollercoaster of emotions.  it was simply there and it happened that way.  i'm thinking about trade season moreso than the post-season.

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In reply to by crunch

Honestly even during the best of times I never could quite believe this was an actual contender. It sucks to see those suspicions proven right. The worst part for me is when I look at the farm system, I don’t even see a way out of this mediocrity unless they go big in free agency, like Ohtani levels of big. I’m not holding my breath there.

The tipping point loss was the Sunday giveaway in London when the Cardinals said they’d agree to finish last this year and the Cubs refused to accept their offer.

We’re back to where we were two weeks ago…the season is slipping away.

Re: Leonel Espinoza, I’ve seen him 2X in AZ. Seems like a solid hitter with good bat to ball skills but doesn’t jump out as a look at me prospect. I’ll get more looks later this summer.

i know we're 2-3 weeks from being "confirmed doomed" or "going for it" but at this point i'm settling into trade mode...  i could have my mind changed and i welcome the cubs forcing the issue...

the high end guys...i mean, guy - stroman

the above average guys that should have multiple team interest - bellinger, smyly, hendricks

bellinger has 7HRs, but they were all in april.  smyly has not had a good june.  hendricks is being bailed out by great defense on one hand, yet not giving up the homers like in the recent past on the other.

i'm not giving much consideration to dead weight like boxberger, fulmer, mancini, and barnhart.  if they can get rid of mancini (7m player option) or barnhart (3.25m player) that would take care of some issues in 2024.

21.3m of heyward comes off the books next year.  that will be nice.  it may help sign a star, or given the cubs recent moves it may help finance 3-4 random guys signed on the cheap to clog up the roster and hope 1-2+ of them are good.

all this aside, i'm low-key looking forward to bote maybe re-joining the bigs.  i like the dude as a bench utility guy.  i still don't agree with him not breaking with the team this spring, and he's wasting away in AAA playing a little bit of everything except CF and C.  he's getting 4m this year and he gets paid 5.5m next year.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

I can’t wait until the Bote contract comes off the books. Not as much as looking forward to Heyward contract being gone, of course.

I think it’s a pretty serious indictment of where we are as a fan base an organization that literally anybody is looking forward to seeing David Bote taking up roster space again.

[ ]

In reply to by crunch

CRUNCH: I think one of the reasons the Cubs have not called up David Bote is because they want to be able to outright him off the 40-man roster post-2023 (like they did post-2022), and if he accrues at least 89 days of MLB Service Time in 2023 he will get to five years of MLB Service Time at which point he can't be outrighted without his consent.

And I don't think the Cubs want to get stuck like that.

The Cubs probably would rather keep the possibility of Bote choosing free-agency over getting outrighted back to the minors again (and thereby forfeit what remains of his contract), which can't happen once he gets to five years of MLB Service Time.

BTW, as of tomorrow (7/5) there are exactly 89 days left in the MLB regular season, so Bote could get called up anytime beginning on Thursday 7/6 and not get to five years of MLB Service Time by the end of ther 2023 season.   

Adam Wainwright might be nearing the end unless he can find something to course correct. Gives up a 3-run HR in the 1st.

Waino lasted 3.1 IP, left with bags loaded and Marlins up 4-0. Those type of starts kill the bullpen which has been generally bad for Stl. edit: Inning ends at 7-0. Wainwright credited with giving up 7 runs as the Cards middle relief again fails them. 

Holy crap regarding how hot the Reds are. Shows the value of REALLY filling the 1B, 3B and DH voids here. Elly De La Cruz is 4-4 today, .308 on the season (and he’s only 21 yrs old). Spencer Steer is age 25, hitting.289 with 14 HRs and is also 4-4 today.

Sadly, the 2023 Cubs fate was riding on Matt Mervis? OK, that's a bit too harsh. They did improve the middle defense. I'm not spending any time worrying about the future of the Cubs multiposition backup infielders.

[ ]

In reply to by Cubster

It is not at all unusual for a pitcher or a position player to get called up to MLB, struggle, get sent back to the minors (sometimes even more than once), and still eventually become a very good MLB pitcher (like Justin Steele) or position player (like Ian Happ). 

It is actually not as common for a player to get called up to MLB, hit the ground running, and never look back. 

So I don't think it is particularly significant that Matt Mervis got sent back to AAA. It doesn't make him a 4-A player.  Same goes for Hayden Wesneski, Keegan Thompson, Caleb Kilian, Jeremiah Estrada, Nelson Velazquez, and Miles Mastrobuoni. 

[ ]

In reply to by Cubster

CUBSTER: I shouldn't have implied that you said that Mervis was a 4-A player, because you certainly did not, and in fact I wasn't actually thinking of your comment when I wrote that.

I was actually thinking of Cub fans who knee-jerk jump to the conclusion that if a player doesn't stick right away after he gets called up that he can't possibly still be a prospect, and (as I know you know) that just isn't true. 

I am reminded of a few years ago (many years ago now) when I first saw Josh Donaldson out here in Mesa right after he was drafted and I wrote here at TCR that he would be a 30 HR a year player, and then of course he didn't do it right away, but he did do it eventually (in his ninth pro season). Sometimes it takes a while before a player reaches his potential, and ideally it happens sooner rather than later (and before he gets traded!). 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Here is what I wrote about Christopher Morel back when he was an 18 year old shortstop at Extended Spring Training in 2018:

As you can see, I had Christopher Morel rated as a Cubs Top Ten Prospect back in June 2018.

Nobody - and I mean NOBODY- had even heard of him. Not Baseball America, not Fangraphs. Nobody. (They hadn't heard of Brailyn Marquez at that time, either, BTW, although I had him in my Top 20).

The Cubs farm system was rated as one of the three worst at that time, and BA had only three players from the Cubs Extended Spring Training squad in their Top 30 that year (Jose Albertos at #3, Nelson Velazquez at #10, and Jonathan Sierra at #29). But no Morel.      

So then what happened?

Morel goes to Eugene and proceeds to hit (get this) 165/172/220 with NO WALKS and 29 strikeouts and just one HR in 93 PA, and gets sent back to Mesa. 

WTF was I thinking???    

Well, I knew that Morel had the #1 exit velocity measured at EXST that year (it was the first year they did that), and that his velo on throws from shortstop and third-base (he was playing both positions at that time) was close to 100 MPH, and so it was just a matter of developing him (obviously a lot easier said than done!), but that he was still very raw and it would take time (and patience), and there would surely be some ups & downs. 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Phil, would you say that Morel's time in Iowa was more beneficial than if he stayed up with the big league club and had consistent at-bats; or was the effect of facing slightly lesser competition and having success and confidence once brought back up a bigger factor than consistent playing time to work things out?

[ ]

In reply to by Finwe Noldaran

FINWE N: I saw Christopher Morel a lot in MLB Spring Training and he looked kind of lost at the plate, but as soon as he got to the backfields at Minor League Camp he started to rake and he hasn't stopped, even after getting recalled in May. So I would say getting optioned to Iowa prior to Opening Day served as both a wake-up call and a chance to regain some of the confidence he lost at the end of the 2022 season and in Spring Training.

Morel has been one of the best HR hitters in pro ball this year (26 HR in just 73 games combined between AAA and MLB), while at the same time cutting down on his swing & miss and taking more walks. 

You have to remember that Morel skipped AAA and was called up directly from AA last season, and so he didn't make his AAA debut until Opening Day 2023. While he is a major league hitter, he is essentially "AAA" or maybe even "AA" defensively (his bat is clearly ahead of his glove), and so he has to try and improve his defense while playing in the big leagues. Not impossible, but certainly not ideal. It would be much better if he could work on his defense at Iowa, but that is not going to happen.   

From having talked to Cubs minor league coaches and scouts from other MLB clubs about Morel over the past five or six years, there seems to be consensus that he is best-suited to play LF. 

Morel has a plus-plus arm (velo as good or even better than Oneil Cruz) that is wasted at DH, 1B, and 2B, but his accuracy is below average (right now) so he can't play SS or 3B without making too many throwing errors. However, it is possible that with - A LOT - of work he could improve his throwing accuracy so that he can be a passable MLB third-baseman (or shortstop). 

He also isn't good at route-running or tracking fly balls in the outfield, which makes playing CF (where there is a lot of ground to cover) and RF (which is really tough to play at Wrigley Field in the afternoon) problematic.  

An outfielder (like Morel) who has decent speed and a strong arm but takes bad routes and has difficulty tracking fly balls is best-suited to play LF because he can play very deep (even stand in front of the warning track) so that he doesn't have to go back on fly balls, but he still has enough speed to come in to catch most fly balls, pop ups, and line drives, and more than enough arm to make longer throws than normal from deep LF.   

Unfortunately for Morel, the Cubs signed Ian Happ to a contract extension that keeps him in Chicago through 2026, so playing LF is not an option at this time.

With Suzuki and Hoerner also signed through 2026, Dansby Swanson signed through 2029, and top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong destined for CF once Bellinger leaves, the only positions open are DH, 1B, and 3B, plus maybe a multi-positional super utility guy (which Morel is NOT at this time) 

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

PHIL:  Thanks as always for your unique insight. On the topic of roster-construction/LF/super-utility...  Do you have any insight on the decisions that led Ian Happ to being a LF-only player (save for 1 gm in CF last year + a few odd innings)?  


His '17-'19 looked like a burgeoning Zobrist, but then clearly a decision was made pre-2022 to focus on not just the OF, but LF specifically. That year had Happ w/ 146 Gm @ LF and 3 Gm @ CF (1 more than Patrick Wisdom); while CF had 5 players w/ >25 gm @CF. 


Obviously, the LF focus allowed for great things in '22.  But the switch-hitter/Utility role is also such an alluring unicorn. 



[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil


Do you remember Theo's first or second year here with Soriano in his last year on the 'big' contract? He had become, let's say, more defensively challenged than ever in LF.  Some Coach or Coaches did some major work on his LF skills that Spring Training.  I remember him becoming a solid MLB Average LF.


Any chance the Cubs have any Player Development people who could do that for Morel at 3B? If he has any long term, non DH, value to the Cubs it would be there.

[ ]

In reply to by Arizona Phil

Thanks Phil! I was a little surprised at the Happ extension, Hoerner not as much; I'm just curious why Happ wouldn't be the super utility choice, as First.Pitch.120 pointed out: he's a switch hitter, he doesn't have a ton of power, but takes walks, and he can play every position besides catcher, I believe. Why lock down a spot like LF with Happ, when you could put someone that has defensive shortcomings, a la Perlaza, there; or someone with potentially better offense there: Morel, Canario, Velazquez, Cassie, Murray Jr.? But Happ is homegrown (along with Hoerner), so it's hard to not root for them and be happy they got an extension (pun inferred, not intended).......

Morel needing some significant reps at 3B to continue his development (or lack there of in terms of time and reps), feels like something he can do on the fly, but not necessarily SHOULD do, like you said; but then I think making him more comfortable with the DH may be better in the short-term? And then I wonder if Coby Mayo should be our main trade target this trade season, but I digress............

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In reply to by Cubster

Yeah, going into 2023 with the plan at three lineup spots being Hosmer, Mancini, Wisdom, and the hope of Mervis being instantly great was a very clear signal about the front office's approach to the season. A team that expects to contend doesn't designate that much playing time to such low likelihood gambles. In a contending season, you maybe allow one starting spot and perhaps one bench spot between those guys and figure you are lucky if one of them forces their way into games. A losing team gives them all room to sink or swim.

Roster moves, some expected and one interesting. Madrigal to the IL. Wisdom back. Wesneski sent down, and 23 yr old Daniel Palencia (the Cubs return for Andrew Chafin) gets his shot in the bullpen. Boxberger to the 60-day IL to make a 40 man roster spot for Palencia.

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In reply to by Cubster

If Daniel Palencia were to be optioned to the minors anytime prior to the conclusion of the 2023 MLB regular season and then spends at least twenty day on optional assignment he would burn a minor league option year - BUT - he would get a 4th minor league option in 2026.  

If Palencia does not spend at least twenty days on optional assignment in 2023 he would not get a 4th minor league in 2026, but since he would not have spent a minor league option in 2023 he would have his third minor league option still available in 2026. 

So other than starting his MLB Service Time clock ticking and having to pay him at the MLB rate ($720K pro-rated over the last half of the 2023 season), there was really no reason not to recall Palencia at this time, even if it turns out he is not ready for MLB and has to be optioned back to AAA. 

Also, although Brad Boxberger was transferred to the 60-day IL to make room on the 40 for Palencia, Boxberger has already spent 52 days on the 15-day IL, and since time spent on the 15-day IL counts toward the minimum number of days he must spend on the 60-day IL, Boxberger could be reinstated as early as Monday 7/13. 

In addition, Adrian Sampson (presently on a Article XIX-C minor league rehab assignment at ACL Cubs) was eligible to be reinstated from the MLB 60-day IL yesterday (7/3), so he can be reinstated at any time (his minor league rehab assignment will expire on 7/24).  

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In reply to by crunch

At least if they hire Girardi it gets him out of the booth.  Zambrano can be the mental skills coach.

All kidding aside, I believe Ross will become a good manager, just not with Cubs.  Just like many prospects struggle when they first get called up, get sent back and then later return and thrive. Ross is gaining the experience he needs to succeed at a later opportunity.  Also given the talent level not sure who would have done much better.

the lack of power hitting out of suzuki is getting a bit alarming even if he's getting on base.

d.swanson "left heel contusion"...might see a bit of morel at 2nd and wisdom at 3rd for a while if it lingers.

palencia out here throwing 100mph...he hit 99mph in his last outing, but i dunno if he got to triple digits last time out.

Recent comments

  • crunch (view)

    thomas hatch is going to fight ham in japan.  he was on PIT's 40-man.

  • crunch (view)

    morel played somewhere besides 3rd and SS...he got 8 innings in CF, 2 putouts and an assist.

  • crunch (view)

    ryan flaherty new cubs bench coach.

  • crunch (view)

    bellinger wins comeback player of the year.  the AL winner was liam hendricks and his 5ip before he got tommy john...setting himself up for a 2025 shot at the award.

  • Bill (view)

    I hope that Perlaza goes on to have a successful career.  On most Cubs teams prior to the current administration, he would have been one of their more highly ranked prospects.  As far as the others are concerned, one or more may well go on to be much better than expected, but unfortunately there is no way to tell which one at the present time.  You can't keep everyone.

  • crunch (view)

    s.gray signs with the cards...3/75m

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    Another one of the nine Cubs post-2023 Rule 9 minor league 6YFA has signed, as RHP Carlos Guzman (acquired from the Tigers for Zack McKinstry at the end of Spring Training) signed a 2024 minor league contract with the Mets. 


    So RHRP Yovanny Cruz (SD), C-INF P. J. Higgins (CIN), and now Carlos Guzman (NYM) have already signed 2024 minor league contracts with new MLB organizations, and OF Yonathan Perlaza is headed for Korea (Hanhwa Eagles).

  • crunch (view)

    ...and back to 3rd for another game.  at this point i'm gonna hang back and when/if he actually plays 1st then i'll find it notable.  i am glad he's playing a good amount of 3rd, though...give the club one more good look at him there.  shrug

  • crunch (view)

    morel played SS last night (no errors)...hit a homer and a double.  he's got 2 of both in 19PA.

  • crunch (view)

    e.escobar was throwing 95-97mph on his fastball in 2023.